On October 8, 2013, Govenor Rick Scott issued Executive Order 13-284, Reaffirming Commitment to Employment for Floridians with Disabilities. The Executive Order supports Employment First efforts in Florida by stating that “Employment is the most direct and cost-effective means in helping an individual achieve independence and self-fulfillment, which should be the primary objective of public assistance programs wherever possible.”
The definition of employment used by Gov. Scott is as follows:
Employment is defined as “integrated employment, including supported employment, customized employment, and self-employment, where an individual is paid by an employer at minimum wage or greater or receives earnings through one’s self-employment business, fully integrated in the community workforce, with a goal of maximum self-sufficiency.”
The governor’s Executive Order mandates development of an interagency cooperative agreement between key Florida agencies and organizations and requires that the agreement formalize objectives aligned with the elements of high-performing states which have an evidence base for improving integrated employment services. The elements address the broad areas of leadership, strategic goals and benchmarks, financing and contracting methods, training opportunities, collaboration, service innovation and accountability to prioritize employment and sustain efforts. Required partners include the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD); the Florida Department of Education (FDOE), Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR), Division of Blind Services (DBS), and Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services (BEESS); the Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) and Workforce Florida Inc. boards; the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF); Substance Abuse and Mental Health (SAMH) Program; and the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council, Inc. (FDDC).
Note: An interagency agreement was fully executed in May 2014.